A Record Fish Story

(Tishomingo) – A Madill man caught a 98-pound blue catfish Nov. 11 on Lake Texoma, breaking the previous state record by more than 10 pounds.

BJ Nabors, who was only on his second catfishing trip with his father-in-law and two other anglers, caught the record fish around 8 p.m. while fishing from the bank with whole shad.

“I enjoy fishing for bass and crappie, but hadn’t gone catfishing much,” said Nabors. “I guess you could say I was just along for the ride. I’m sure I’ll go back. I’m hooked now.”

Nabors was using a 12-foot Eagle Claw fishing pole and a Shakespeare spinning reel spooled with 20-pound test Stren. The angler wrestled with the fish for several minutes before beaching it.

“I was holdin’ on pretty good,” he said. “We actually had two fish on at once. I held on for what seemed like forever, but it was probably only 10 or 15 minutes.”

The 54 and 1/2-inch long fish had a 39 and 1/2-inch girth and came from an area of Lake Texoma locally known as “Murray 23,” which is in the Tishomingo arm of the lake. The fishing hole is a noted blue catfish hotspot, with the winter months being the primary time of year when serious anglers pursue the large blue cats.

Oklahoma’s previous blue catfish record was set only last year, also in Lake Texoma. That fish weighed in at a little over 87 pounds and was caught in March. Nabors said that at first he wasn’t aware the fish was a potential state record.

“We had absolutely no clue it was a state record,” he said. “We had some 100-pound scales and when it bottomed those out, we started looking for some certified scales.”

Fisheries personnel with the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation brought portable certified scales to the lake and after verifying it as a state record, transported the fish to a local fish hatchery. It has since been transported to the Oklahoma Aquarium in Jenks where it will be displayed following a brief quarantine.